Monday, April 9, 2012

Prosser Trophy

By Jake LaDow

The 2012 MAISA Team Race Championship (the Prosser Trophy) began Saturday April 7 at St. Mary’s College. Leading up to the event, many of the teams’ practices and preparation had intensified with goals of earning a berth to the 2012 Team Race National Championship. Much was on the line this weekend as only the top three teams are eligible to represent MAISA. After two long and tense days, St. Mary’s won the event with a 13-4 record, Hobart placed second by holding a 12-5 record and Georgetown’s record of 11-6 was good enough to edge out Navy for third place and the last MAISA berth to Nationals. These three teams will advance to the ICSA Team Race Nationals in June at the University of Texas.
Photo by St. Mary's alumni Franny Kupersmith.

Eight teams arrived for the 9:00 am report time, immediately rigged the boats, and prepared for a long day of racing. The wind ranged from 4-17 knots all day, and shifts up to 30 degrees were not an uncommon occurrence. Due to the shifty and puffy conditions, the racing was extremely close and proved exciting. On nany occasions plays and combinations would shuffle multiple times throughout a single race. All teams showed dashes of talent, but after the first round robin three teams emerged to the top of the leaderboard. Hobart went 6-1 along with St. Mary’s and Georgetown who sailed well with a 5-2 record, claiming the top three spots. They were closely trailed by Navy who posted a 4-3 record. New York Maritime went 3-4 along with Old Dominion. 

PRO Chris Gaffney chose to sail later into the day since the conditions were prime for team racing. In the second round robin the top three remained the same, and were mathematically guaranteed a berth in the final four. Three teams remained to battle for the final spot in the final four. New York Maritime suffered a loss to Navy, and Old Dominion fell to New York Maritime. Navy sailed strong throughout, and defeated day one leader Hobart. Navy was able to rest Saturday night with a two-race cushion over their next competitor New York Maritime.

Conditions Sunday morning were similar to Saturday, but the wind was much steadier and dependable. The second round robin finished up very quickly and four teams advanced to the final four round. Hobart prevailed over all other teams, going into the final four with 11 wins and 4 losses. Georgetown and St. Mary’s each had a record of 10-4, and the last spot in the final four went to Navy who had a record of 8-6. At this point all teams were in contention to make the top three and qualify for Nationals.

The first race of the final four was Georgetown vs. St. Mary’s. Georgetown looked strong for a majority of the race, but St. Mary’s edged them out near the finish. Hobart beat Navy in the second race. The third race between St. Mary’s and Hobart was dominated by Hobart until the leeward mark when things got mixed up. St. Mary’s won the race once again, only by a few boat lengths from the finish line. Navy won the fourth race in a hard fought battle against Georgetown.

At this point in the event Navy was incapable of qualifying, but they were happy to beat the talented and ICSA top ranked Georgetown team. Races five and six would be the last of the regatta and the battle for first was on the line. Race five was St. Mary’s vs. Navy, and St. Mary’s sailed fast to win and sweep the final four. The last race was between Georgetown and Hobart. Hobart could control their destiny and win the event by winning the last race, but Georgetown had other plans. Georgetown held on to win a close race and beat Hobart. This race shuffled the final standings and Georgetown came in third, Hobart second, and the host team St. Mary’s Seahawks in first.

The winning St. Mary's team consisted of skippers: Joshua Greenslade, Victor Diaz de Leon, and John Wallace and crews: Kayla McComb, Kelley Merryman, Katie Gluskin, Ben Lezin, and Fletcher Sims.

Congratulations to the top three teams for qualifying for the Team Race Nationals Championship!  Full results and RP information can be found here.

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